438 THE DRUMMER.
and was going away. " Wait one moment," he said; " can I not help you in any way ?*
" You could only help me," she replied, " by climbing on the glass mountain and freeing me from the witch's power. But you could not reach the mountain; or even if you did, you would be unable to climb to the top."
" What I wish to do I can do," said the drummer. " I feel great compassion for you, and I fear nothing; but I do not know where the mountain is, nor the way to it."
"The road lies through a large forest," she replied, "and you must pass several inns on your way. More than this I dare not tell you."
Then he heard the rush of wings and she was gone. By the break of day the drummer was up and ready. He hung his drum on his shoulder, and went without fear to cross the forest. After walking for some time, and not meeting any giants, he thought to himself, " I must wake up the lazy sleepers." So he turned his drum before him, and played such a tantara that the birds on the trees flew away screaming.
Not long after a giant who had been sleeping in the grass rose up and stood before him. He was as tall as a fir-tree, and cried out to the drummer : " You wretched little creature ! what do you mean by waking people up out of their best sleep with your horrid drum ?"
" I drummed to wake you," he replied, " because, as many thousands have done before, I did not know the way."
" What do you want here in my wood ?" asked the giant.
" Well, I wash to free the forest from such monsters as you are !"
" Oho !" cried the giant, "why, I could crush you beneath my foot as I would crush an ant!"
" Don't suppose you are going to perform any such thing," cried the drummer. " If you were to stoop down to catch hold of one of us, he would jump away and hide himself, and when you were lying down to sleep, his people would come from every bush and thicket, each carrying a steel hammer in his girdle. They would creep cautiously upon you, and soon with their hammers beat out your brains !"
This assertion made the giant rather uneasy. " If I meddle with these cunning little people," he thought, "they can, no